Document:Open Letter on Retraction and Pledge to Boycott Elsevier

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Disclaimer (#3)Document.png open letter  by Institute of Science in Society  to Wallace Hayes, Elsevier dated 2013/12/04
Subjects: Monsanto, Elsevier, Corruption of Science, File:Toxicity of Roundup and Roundup-tolerant GM maize.pdf
Source: Institute of Science in Society (Link)

The background to this open letter is described in Document:Retracting Séralini Study Violates Science and Ethics

Author's Note
An up to date list of signatories to the letter is available on the ISIS web site together with a form to add your own signature.

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Re: “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize,” by GE Séralini et al, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology 2012, 50(11), 4221-31 - File:Toxicity of Roundup and Roundup-tolerant GM maize.pdf

Your decision [1] to retract the paper is in clear violation of the international ethical norms as laid down by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), of which FCT is a member. According to COPE, the only grounds for retraction are:

  1. clear evidence that the findings are unreliable due to misconduct or honest error,
  2. plagiarism or redundant publication, or
  3. unethical research. You have already acknowledged that the paper of Séralini et al (2012) contains none of those faults.

This arbitrary, groundless retraction of a published, thoroughly peer-reviewed paper is without precedent in the history of scientific publishing, and raises grave concerns over the integrity and impartiality of science. These concerns are heightened by a sequence of events surrounding the retraction:

  • the appointment of ex-Monsanto employee Richard Goodman to the newly created post of associate editor for biotechnology at FCT
  • the retraction of another study finding potentially harmful effects from GMOs (which almost immediately appeared in another journal)
  • the failure to retract a paper published by Monsanto scientists in the same journal in 2004, for which a gross error has been identified.

The retraction is erasing from the public record results that are potentially of very great importance for public health. It is censorship of scientific research, knowledge, and understanding, an abuse of science striking at the very heart of science and democracy, and science for the public good.

We urge you to reverse this appalling decision, and further, to issue a fulsome public apology to Séralini and his colleagues. Until you accede to our request, we will boycott Elsevier, i.e., decline to purchase Elsevier products, to publish, review, or do editorial work for Elsevier.